Over the last couple of weeks my sleep patterns have been terribly erratic.  As I have grown older I have developed a tendency to only sleep a few hours at a time during the night.  I will wake up to use the bathroom, check the doors and windows (just like my father did when I was growing up by the way), grab a glass of water but if I am smart I will immediately go right back to sleep.

Therein lies the problem….sometimes I am not so smart about it and I will end up watching TV or doing some work before I go back to sleep.  The net of it all is a night of about 4 maybe 5 hours of sleep. Ouch!!

You probably can think of a few if not many reasons why sleep is important…however let me just talk about some that come to mind by way of the National Institutes of Health….

 

Sleep is critical to our mental and emotional well-being.  What do I mean? Well while you’re sleeping, your brain is preparing for the next day.  It’s setting up infrastructure to help you learn and remember whether it’s math, playing an instrument or a sport.  If you’re sleep deficient (like me right now), it’s more difficult to make decisions, solve problems, control your emotions and behavior, and cope with change.

 

In terms of your physical health sleep is ESSENTIAL.   While sleeping your body repairs your heart and blood vessels so it is not hard to imagine that ongoing sleep deficiency is linked to an increased risk of heart disease, kidney disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, and stroke.

Sleep deficiency also increases the risk of obesity.  A consistent good nights sleep helps maintain a healthy balance of the hormones that make you feel hungry (ghrelin) or full (leptin) without it your level of ghrelin goes up and your level of leptin goes down. This makes you feel hungrier than when you’re well-rested.

Sleep also affects how your body reacts to insulin so sleep deficiency results in a higher than normal blood sugar level, which may increase your risk for diabetes.

 

Your immune system is fortified by sleep.  If you’re sleep deficient, you have increased trouble fighting common infections.

 

 

RECAP: Let’s see if you don’t get good sleep on a regular basis you increase your risk of becoming …..

Dumb (er), Fat (er),and Sick (er)…..

 

……….Ok think I will get some sleep…

 

“It is perfectly fine to be NotPerFit”